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The Duel: The Eighty-Day Struggle Between Churchill and Hitler
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The Duel: The Eighty-Day Struggle Between Churchill and Hitler

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  275 Ratings  ·  15 Reviews
This is a day-by-day account of the eighty-day struggle in 1940 between Hitlerpoised on the edge of absolute victoryand Churchillthreatened by imminent invasion and defeat. ...more
Paperback, 272 pages
Published March 11th 2001 by Yale University Press (first published 1990)
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Apr 07, 2016 rated it liked it
I probably would have given this 3.5 stars, but I rounded it down, since there aren't 1/2 stars on this site.

This book is an interesting contrast between Hitler and Churchill and the coincidence of history that Churchill’s move to #10 Downing Street on May 10, 1940, occurred on the same day as Hitler’s move on Western Europe. However, I thought it would be a book that detailed more about the battles, but instead, it’s a study of what was going on with the two men and those around them – Hitler’s
Dec 07, 2009 rated it really liked it
The Duel is set out in a point-counterpoint fashion. It alternates between examining the war from the German and then British viewpoint. The critical events of the 80 days covered by Lukacs seem to be the successful evacuation of 350,000 British and French troops from Dunkirk in early June, Hitler's subsequent decision to not proceed with plans for the invasion of Britain, and his eventual decision at the end of July to invade Russia. Lukacs makes it clear that the German armies could have been ...more
Tom Allman
Read with 'Their Finest Hour' by Churchill!
Jul 02, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
A very disappointing performance. The author' biases are exceptionally glaring, rendering the entire book an adulation to Churchill, nullifying any potential historical objectivity. The author talks about duelling and yet fail completely to discuss the resources needed in this duel. The author surprisingly fails to consider the British Commonwealth, its contributions and requirements, giving the false illusion that Britain and Churchill were alone fighting the Nazis, while in reality the entire ...more
Stanley Turner
Jan 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent book, Lukacs does a fantastic job of explaining the face-off between Adolf Hitler and Winston S. Churchill. One thing I have learned over the years of reading is that I learn something from each book I read, sometimes it maybe the fact that I don’t care for the book. This book is not in this category, I enjoyed reading this work and learned numerous items about both leaders that I previously did not know. I would recommend this book for anyone interested in either Winston Churchill or ...more
Konstantina Skoulika
An engaging and vivid account of the zweikampf between Churchill and Hitler, especially for those who just started their journey in the WW2 historiography. Lukacs is a generous judge and his takes are sober and unbiased. Hitler's depiction finally focuses on his strategic moves and motives, and despite the fact that there's an obvious- and fair- hot spot for Churchill, both heroes are dealt with respect.
Jonathan Desimone
Jul 29, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-audible
This was a very interesting laser focused book on the early days of WWII. As a fan of literature of the period, I enjoyed learning more about the key players. There are lots of interesting insights around Germany's war plans and how they might really have evolved (one front vs two front, when, etc...) and on Churchill's precarious status in the cabinet for those first few months along with the admirable behavior of Neville Chamberlain as a cabinet member and supporter.
Celso Rennó Lima
Este relato histórico é fundamental para colocarmos nos devidos lugares muitas passagens que são contadadas sobre a Segunda Guerra e que ficam perdidas sob a camuflagem de tendências para um lado ou outro. O autor traduz cada momento destes oitenta dias do duelo Churchill x Hitler de uma forma objetiva, dando a cada um dos oponentes seu devido valor. Isto enriquece a história deste momento tão marcante do século XX e que mudou a história do mundo.
Satina Whalen
Oct 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book is incredible. I highly recommend reading!
Deborah Borges
Jan 26, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
Sem dúvidas, um livro rico em fontes históricas. Além disso, é muito interessante ver a guerra pela visão política, e não apenas nos campos de batalha, mas eu achei que o autor realmente exagerou demais nos louvores a Churchill. Fica nítido o quanto ele é fã do estadista. Enquanto isso, achei que algumas idas e vindas nas datas ficaram confusas.
Mas, no geral, o assunto é extremamente interessante.
Oct 28, 2009 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed the book a lot. The author shows a clear love for Churchill...probably giving him more credit than he deserves. However, the book makes clear that it was Churchill's steadiness that brought Britain through the first months of the war and prepared them for the long fight.
Brian K
Aug 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfic, by-christians
Wonderful for 1) the perhaps exaggerated narrative structure of divine coincidences between Hitler and Churchill, 2) the huge presence of Lukacs's authorial voice and wealth of quotes, and 3) the correction of many historical misconceptions about WWII.
Elizabeth Kennedy
Feb 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
I really appreciate the pleasure of reading histories that cover a short period of time. This book positively drips with the author's adoration of Winston Churchill. If I weren't already a member of the Churchill fan club, Lukacs would have converted me.
Jan 20, 2009 rated it it was amazing
How Churchill faced down the most powerful Army and Air Force in the world.
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Lukacs was born in Budapest to a Roman Catholic father and Jewish mother. His parents divorced before the Second World War. During the Second World War he was forced to serve in a Hungarian labour battalion for Jews. During the German occupation of Hungary in 1944-45 he evaded deportation to the death camps, and survived the siege of Budapest. In 1946, as it became clear that Hungary was going to ...more
“I am writing this because on that night of the tenth of May in the 1,940th year of Our Lord, Churchill stood for more than England. Millions of people, especially across Europe, recognized him now as the champion of their hopes. (In faraway Bengal India there was at least one man, that admirably independent writer and thinker, Nirad Chaudhuri, who fastened Churchill's picture on the wall of his room the next day.) Churchill was _the_ opponent of Hitler, the incarnation of the reaction to Hitler, the incarnation of the resistance of an old world, of old freedoms, of old standards against a man incarnating a force that was frighteningly efficient, brutal, and new.” 3 likes
“We are all national socialists now.” 0 likes
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